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Van Persie not the man to back to score first against Palace

| 12.09.2013

Having failed to even register a single shot on target in his last two Premier League fixtures with Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, Robin van Persie’s eye for goal seems to have returned over the international break.

Van Persie scored three times in two games for Holland and many will now be thinking that he is the prime suspect at 11/4 to score the first goal in Manchester United’s next fixture at home to Crystal Palace.

This is especially true given that he netted six goals against the three promoted clubs in the Premier League last season.

However, here is a trivia question. In Man Utd’s last 18 Premier League games, on how many occasions has Van Persie opened the scoring?

The instant answer would probably be seven or eight, but in fact, the actual answer is only two – when netting a hat-trick against Aston Villa in the latter part of the last campaign and then in this season’s opener with Swansea.

This is probably enough of a reason to oppose Van Persie to bag the opener at such a short price, especially with Wayne Rooney’s liable absence likely to mean that extra value is available elsewhere in this market.

Fresh from missing England’s draw with Ukraine through suspension, Danny Welbeck will have no tiredness issues.

Welbeck has already contributed five goals in six games this season for club and country and is 5/1 to score first. Meanwhile, Shinji Kagawa is the only non-striker to have scored the first Man Utd goal in any of their last eight top-flight fixtures.

Marouane Fellaini is 7/1 to immediately endear himself to the Old Trafford faithful with the opener, with Antonio Valencia one to consider at 10/1 as he looks favoured to win the starting spot on the right-hand side.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.